When baby elephants are born, they need to ɡet up onto all four feet as quickly as possible so to have that first drink of Mom’s milk, and аⱱoіd tempting ргedаtoгѕ with the smell of new placenta.
The longer they take to ѕtапd upright and keep those ѕһаkу little waif limbs firm on their new planet, the scarier it gets for mother and child. Baby needs its milk and will stay beside Mom for years, drinking milk from her teat for somewhere between four to five years old. Sometimes even longer, sometimes a little less.
The mother elephant will do everything she can to help her calf suckle from her, moving her front leg forward to make her teat easily accessible to the baby who wraps its little mouth around the teat and draws out the essential liquid.
This is mimicked with orphan calves as they suckle from the milk bottles given to them around the clock, each day, by their dedicated carers. Just as the calf would touch its mother’s underside or body with its enquiring trunk, communicating through touch, and no doubt receiving comfort from the closeness and intimacy, so too will a calf, especially younger ones, touch their carer’s mouth or face while drinking from the bottle.
It’s very difficult to escape the persistent snaking trunk of a suckling calf. Sometimes a carer will blow into the calf’s trunk and you can feel the heat from the long probiscis emanating off it. These moments are incredibly tender and often Baby will close its eyes while drinking, completely in the moment of love, nourishment and support between it and its mother, whether human or elephant